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CR - Costa Rica Expands Its Marine Protection Area in Defense of Biodiversity

Costa Rica has added more than 11,000 square kilometers to its marine conservation map over the last decade, thus making progress in settling a historical debt with its oceanic biodiversity.

During that time, the country created four marine management areas: Montes Submarinos, Cabo Blanco, Bahía Santa Elena, and Barra Del Colorado, with which it reached a total of 2.7% of the marine territory under some category of protection.

That figure is far from international commitment, which was 10%, but it is an important step for the country to pay off a historic debt it has with marine conservation.

“Costa Rica is a country that is 10 times larger in its marine territory than terrestrial; we are truly more comparable to an island than many other countries. And all conservation efforts have been directed towards this goal(…) That is why the country is now preparing its exclusive economic zone, to understand where it should direct its efforts”, said the executive director of the Costa Rica Forever Association, Zdenka Piskulich.

The association, dedicated to promoting the conservation of marine and terrestrial ecosystems in perpetuity, through the management of alliances with the government, the private sector, and civil society, has been one of the entities in charge of providing support to the country to meet the national conservation goals.

The ocean in general acts as a regulator of the planet’s climate, and these 11,000 more kilometers of marine protected areas in addition to protecting the biodiversity of migratory birds, cetaceans, turtles, fish, and corals, promote sustainable development of communities.

“These protected areas are fundamental because they become climatic shelters, not only for biodiversity but to the extent that the ecosystem is healthy it has the capacity for resilience and adaptation to climate change and that overflows towards a benefit to the communities, to the economic and social welfare, it is a whole chain”, biologist Mónica Gamboa explains.

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